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Pessimistic Optimism

I am a pessimistic optimist— I love and accept all the cruelty, tragedy, and unfairness in the world, yet I am optimistic about our individual ability to change ourselves and change the world.

Life isn’t fair.

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Life isn’t fair. But should life be fair?

Reality isn’t fair. If we consider the animal kingdom, would a gazelle say it is “fair” that lions are always hunting them? Should the predator feel “guilty” about hunting prey? I think not.

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What do we want?

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I’m curious — what do we really want?

I think many people simply want to live a happy bovine-like life. A happy life of a cow — without pain, difficulty, with maximal comfort and pleasure. But do we prefer the life of a pacified cow, or do we prefer to be a (hungry) beast of prey?

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What does it mean to be a “pessimist”?

I prefer “realist”. To me, a realist is someone who stares at reality, doesn’t flinch, and doesn’t seek to complain about reality, but rather to understand, game, and exploit reality.

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Pessimism as the apex of “bad”

Pessimist or pessimism comes from “malus” (bad). And what is bad? The deceptive, the liar, or the small.

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But why don’t we like deception? We don’t like to be lied to or deceived, because it feels “unfair”. Also, deception is scary and frightful. But consider how predators always deceive their prey. And humans are predators — we constantly deceive our beasts of burden, our livestock, and other humans. We seek to exploit other animals and humans to our own personal benefit.

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Are you strong enough?

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Reality is cruel, unfair, and chaotic. But the question is:

Are we strong enough to survive it, or even better yet — thrive in reality?

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To me, reality is the ultimate video game in hell mode. I love it! A safer and more predictable reality would be more boring. I’d rather choose a severe, dangerous, and interesting and fun life than a safe, predictable and boring life.

How am I so optimistic?

I have insanely epic faith in humanity and human beings. I believe in unlimited human ingenuity. I have faith that humanity will survive and thrive into perpetuity.

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Contrary to the other pessimists out there, I am optimistic in my realism. We humans aren’t gonna self destruct the planet. We will continue to colonize other planets. We will discover new and epic technologies which will continue to improve our quality of life, and allow for new epic human individuals to thrive.

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Once again — how will we live or approach life differently if:

We don’t fear “earth death”.

That the earth continues to perpetuate at least another 5,000-10,000 years. If this were the case, what should we use our lives to strive towards?

ERIC KIM

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